Snowed-in on a Saturday

This past Saturday, winter re-introduced itself to Michigan. As the snow piled-up outside the windows, I hunkered down over my table and (to the glorious sound of the radio broadcast of MSU's win over OSU) finished this piece, which will be in the May issue of a new children's magazine coming out next year. 

 WIP

WIP

 Finished

Finished

This concept has changed a LOT since I was first asked to contribute to the magazine. My direction boiled down to: Spring, nature. Beyond that, I had a lot of freedom, which is always both exciting and paralyzing. Once I'd settled on what would become the final design (after pages and pages of sketches and tinkerings), it came together pretty quickly. I haven't done too much with forestscapes...I find them a bit intimidating. I'm pleased with this one in terms of detail (never sure how much to include in the forest), and differentiating between fore-, middle-, and background (normally a struggle for me). 

Dear Michigan: Thanks for the walnuts and fungus

ArtPrize 7 starts this week! Here's a look at my finished entry, a diptych titled "Portraits from the Arbor." 

16"x20" Black Walnut ink and mushroom spores on Arches Watercolor Paper

not pictured: totally baller antique frames

Still on the to-do list for AP:

  • Write Artist's Statement
  • Print business cards
  • Hang out at my venue, Palatte Coffee and Art in GR :)

I hope you have a chance to make it to town for this year's event. ArtPrize generally has some really cool and inspiring work on display. And I can tell you that my venue specifically has some really stunning art from some very talented artists.

ArtPrize 7 Work-in-Progress

I've begun work on my entry for this year's ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids (Sept. 23rd - Oct. 11th). I'll be using homemade black walnut ink on Arches 140 lb. hot-press watercolor paper.

 Portraits from the Arbor

Portraits from the Arbor

Once all the ink work is finished, it'll be time to head into the forest to collect mushrooms for the spore prints! I'm so excited to be hosted by Palatte Coffee & Art this year. I think it will be the perfect venue for ArtPrize attendees to reflect upon, and connect with, the art on display.  

More info on my ArtPrize 7 entry, Portraits from the Arbor.

Here's some info about my venue, Palatte Coffee & Art

Back to Tecumseh

Had a GREAT time this past weekend in Tecumseh for the annual Community Arts of Tecumseh "Art in the Park." AP is my longest running streak for any art fair (3 ohmygosh), and I got to see lots of familiar faces, both fellow exhibitors and guests. I had copies of Lelani and The Plastic Kingdom to sell and sign, which I didn't have in time for last year's event. It was awesome reconnecting with fans of The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree and introducing them to my newest. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous going into my first art show of the season with a new book...but people seemed to be really receptive to the book and also to it's message. I talked to a handful of teachers, so hopefully I'm able to make it out to some schools next year.

 New sign.

New sign.

 What a lucky duck! This is a copy of "The Woodcutter" that I had drawn in as past of my artist's demo during Art-A-Licious last year. It was mixed-in with the remainder of my stock and popped-up on Saturday.

What a lucky duck! This is a copy of "The Woodcutter" that I had drawn in as past of my artist's demo during Art-A-Licious last year. It was mixed-in with the remainder of my stock and popped-up on Saturday.

That's one down! Excited for the rest of the summer :) See you at Devil's Lake in a couple weeks.


  

Commissioned piece (work-in-progress)

This is a piece for David, a friend and fellow children's book author (you can see his excellent book HERE). David also happens to be the principal at Great Lakes Elementary in West Ottawa, the same school where my sister teaches.

David asked me for a piece that depicts the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and also includes an Ethiopian angel. After a little bit (A LOT) of research into these elements, I settled on this composition: 

I'm trying to integrate my own style into a traditional Coptic Ethiopian style. It's been very interesting learning about the coffee ceremony and Ethiopian iconography. 

 Roasting and grinding beans,  pouring the coffee

Roasting and grinding beans,  pouring the coffee

 Traditional incense burner with the first little bits of pen work. 

Traditional incense burner with the first little bits of pen work. 

I've started adding watercolor, so pics of the finished piece soon (hoooopefully!).